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Dad calls son chasing kids with knife, wearing clown mask just a ‘prank’

Posted at 1:50 PM, Nov 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-02 20:13:29-05

CHESTERFIELD, Va. – Officers arrested a Chesterfield man after receiving a report he was wearing a clown costume and mask, holding a knife, and chasing children from a bus stop.

Nathaniel Dunivin was arrested after he wore this outfit and chased students

Officers responded to the suspicious situation in the 2300 block of Vicki Court and located the man wearing a mask and holding a knife.

Police identified him as Nathaniel W. Dunivin, a white male, age 23. Dunivin is an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2012, according to his father.

No one was injured. Parents, students and officials are trying to figure out if it was serious, or a joke.

Emily Portillo Patron said he chased her friends, who were very scared. "The parents got mad because they thought it was serious," she said, "so someone called the police."

She said she saw someone give him a high five. She also said she thought it was a joke, so she started filming.

"He seemed really playful," she added.

Dunivin’s address was listed as the Greenleigh Mobile Home Park, off Jefferson Davis Highway, near the bus stop. His father told CBS 6 off camera that his son suffers from PTSD, and he hopes that his son can get help. He said Dunivin has lived with them since he returned home from Afghanistan.

Nathaniel Dunivin, age 23

Nathaniel Dunivin, age 23

The father said he understands why parents were upset. He said it was a terrible lapse in judgement but he thinks ultimately it was meant as a prank.

"It wasn't a funny joke," said neighbor Karin St. Onge-Henegar. "I don't think when people do things like this that it's is a joke."

Dunivin was charged with assault in relation to one of the children who were chased, possession of a weapon on school property and for wearing a mask in public.